A number of microorganisms were selected from soil and sediment samples which were known to have been previously exposed to nitrate ester contaminants. The two most effective bacteria for transforming glycerol trinerate (GTN) were identified as Bacillus thuringiensis/cereus and Enterobacter agglomerans. For both isolates, denitration activities were expressed constitutively and GTN was not required for induction. Dialysis of cell extracts from both isolates did not affect denitration, which indicates that dissociable and depletable cofactors are not required for denitration. With thin-layer chromatography and high-performance liquid chromatography, the denitration pathway for both isolates was shown to be a sequential denitration of GTN to glycerol dinitrate isomers, glycerol mononitrate isomers, and ultimately to glycerol. GTN was observed to be completely converted to glycerol during a long-term incubation of cell extracts.